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NDP had no reason to stage protest march and rally – PM

NDP had no reason to stage protest march and rally – PM


The New Democratic Party (NDP) had no reason for staging its protest march and rally last Friday, July 26. This is the view of Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who on Monday said that initially,{{more}} Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace began by announcing that the reason for the protest was because lawyer and Opposition Senator Vynnette Frederick had been unlawfully arrested, embarrassed and humiliated.

Shortly afterwards, however, following on the line of the Bar Association and other lawyers in the country, Gonsalves said that it was being circulated that the arrest of Frederick was not unlawful and that none of her rights had been violated.

“Well, why are you bringing out your supporters to protest against something that was not unlawful?” he questioned.

“So is it proportionate for you to protest against something you only consider to be embarrassing and humiliating?” he continued.

Gonsalves explained that if the Opposition found that the arrest of Frederick was embarrassing and humiliating, then they should have done something that was measured – such as issuing a statement, he said.

“But if a lawyer expected to get special treatment and arrested and charged in a certain manner, then one should equally say that it is your responsibility and obligation not to tell a lie about the Prime Minister, carry a charge to the court based on a malicious falsehood and to swear falsely in the affidavit before the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

“And only to concede after you have found out that it was an error,” Gonsalves said.

He further explained that the Opposition needed to realize that they could not have gone forward to stage a protest march and rally based on such facts.

“In fact, Eustace constructed this basket, this Vynnette basket and poured water into it and realized after he poured the first set of water that the basket can’t hold water,” the Prime Minister said.

“He then went ahead to shop around for a package of issues ranging from poverty to the state of the economy and that the government was corrupted,” Gonsalves said.

“The size of the crowd varied at different stages throughout the protest,” Gonsalves said. “And at the end, many people left because they did not want to hear what was going to be said.

“The reason for the protest within 24 hours, was shown to be no reason whatsoever, so they had to scrounge around,” Gonsalves said.

Eustace announced about a week after the re-arresting of Senator Frederick that the NDP would be having two rallies and a march and rally to protest the arrest of the Opposition parliamentarian. (DD)